Simple Meringue Cookies
Meringue cookies are light, ethereal cookies made with only 4 ingredients! These egg white cookies will melt in your mouth and tantalize your sweet tooth!
This easy meringue cookie recipe will become one of your favorites. Make a batch whenever you have leftover egg whites! I’ll guide you through the process so your first attempt will be perfect!!
Why You Should Make
- This meringue cookie recipe can be jazzed up with food coloring and flavorings, but these are the most basic, simple meringue cookies.
- Only 4 ingredients and a few steps and these gems will be ready to eat!
- Spotting this elegant Strawberry Meringues Recipe from Pint Sized Baker reminded me that an ordinary meringue cookie recipe can be the base for an amazing dessert as well as scrumptious egg white cookies!
- Egg Whites – make sure they’re at room temperature
- Cream of Tartar – the acid helps stabilize the egg whites. PRO-Tip: Use twice as much white vinegar or lemon juice as a substitute if you don’t have any cream of tartar.
- Pinch of Salt – salt is crucial to enhance the flavor of desserts
- Superfine Sugar – superfine sugar is preferred as it dissolves into the egg whites a bit easier, but I’ve had success numerous times with regular, granulated sugar. If your market carries Domino sugar, you can find their superfine sugar in the baking aisle. You can also make your own by processing sugar in the food processor for 30 seconds (but there is some research that says making your own will not result in the same quality as purchased superfine sugar).
A Versatile Easy Meringue Cookies Recipe
These meringue cookies will be incorporated into a fabulous Strawberry Eton Mess dessert to be revealed on Sunday, so I didn’t add any vanilla to keep them a beautiful, pure white color. But just think of all the options with these egg white cookies: green for St. Patrick’s Day, pink with peppermint extract for Valentine’s Day, pastel colors for Easter! A fun cookie any time of the year!
I’ve been making meringue since I was a teen. Lemon meringue pie was one of my specialties, and my family was brave enough to eat it! I’m not certain I knew all the tricks for making the best meringues in those days, but I have learned a few tips along the way. Use these guidelines for your own simple meringue cookies as well as to top cream pies, make pavlova, and more!
- Room temperature egg whites will give your meringue cookies more volume and help the sugar dissolve more easily.
- Make sure to whip the egg whites to soft peaks before adding any sugar.
- Superfine sugar (affiliate link) will dissolve more easily than regular granulated sugar.
- My mom taught me to rub some of the whipped meringue between my fingers to feel for sugar granules. You may feel a few, but most should be dissolved for the best results.
- For perfect meringues, add the sugar slowly. Don’t rush the process. Add one tablespoon at a time and give it a minute or so before adding more.
- PRO-Tip: Make sure your mixing bowl and beater are scrupulously clean. Any speck of oil (this includes any egg yolk) will prevent the whites from becoming white and billowy.
- So that you don’t get any egg yolks in your whites when separating your eggs, make sure to crack them on a flat surface (not the edge of your bowl) and separate them while cold (right out of the refrigerator).
- It’s also wise to not separate them over a bowl of egg whites as that almost always guarantees that a little yolk will contaminate the other whites and you’ll have to start over!
- To keep your egg white cookies a pristine white, not even a splash of vanilla was added, but feel free to include a little if that’s your preference. Vanilla meringue cookies are also wonderful to eat on their own or use in a recipe!
- Cooled Vanilla Meringue Cookies can be stored 2 weeks or longer in an airtight container at room temperature and longer if they’re in the freezer.
How to Make
- Whip egg whites until foamy.
- Continue beating whites until soft peaks form, then slowly add sugar and beat to form stiff peaks.
- Pipe or drop meringue onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake as directed.
Use your simple meringue cookies to make this layered Strawberry Eton Mess, made with crushed meringues, whipped cream, and berries.
What to Make with Leftover Egg Yolks:
You can always add some extra yolks to a big batch of Sunday morning scrambled eggs, but here are some more egg yolk recipe ideas for you. Any creme brulee recipe will work like my Classic Creme Brulee which uses 7 egg yolks or my White Chocolate Creme Brulee which uses 4 yolks. Irish Cream Pots de Creme uses 6 egg yolks. You’ll be set with two marvelous desserts if you make these simple meringue cookies, then a rich dessert made with the leftover yolks!
Frequently Asked Questions
The goal is to keep your cooled and baked meringue cookies away from humidity. They should be packed in airtight containers and can be stored at room temperature, in the refrigerator, or in the freezer.
When stored in a cool dry place, meringue cookies stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. If frozen, they can last a couple of months.
Meringue can be very finicky. The most common reason for meringue failure is getting oil or grease into the egg white mixture. This can be from a little grease in the mixing bowl or beater or even a small speck of egg yolk contaminating the egg whites.
Plus, before beginning to add the sugar, the egg whites should be beaten until just foamy. Overbeating the egg whites until they look dry can also cause a meringue failure.
You May Also Like:
Here are some more recipes for what to do with extra egg whites. Plus, some other favorite desserts.
- Strawberry Meringues Recipe from Pint Sized Baker
- Lemon Souffle (Uses 9 egg whites)
- Layered Chocolate Meringue Cake (Uses 6 egg whites)
- Chocolate Velvet Pie with Meringue Crust (Uses 3 egg whites)
- Strawberry Souffle Recipe (Uses 4 egg whites)
- Fresh Strawberry Meringue Cake (Uses 7 egg whites)
- Chocolate Meringues (Uses 6-7 egg whites)
- Classic Lemon Meringue Pie
- More Best Dessert Recipes
- More Best Cookie Recipes
There are only four ingredients in these simple meringues! They’re really super easy to put together and will deliciously thrill your palate. I do not add vanilla as it will make these cookies less than pure white, but if that doesn’t bother you, add a quarter teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Other flavorings will work, too.
Simple Meringue Cookies
Sweet, ethereal, easy meringue recipe made with just 4 simple ingredients.
- 2 egg whites, at room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup sugar, superfine preferred, but not necessary
- Preheat oven to 225º Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
- Place egg whites into a mixing bowl and beat until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, and the pinch of salt, and beat until soft peaks form.
- With the mixer running, slowly add sugar, one tablespoon at a time until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form.
- Pipe or scoop tablespoons of the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet, spacing approximately 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then turn the oven off.
- Without opening the door, let the meringues stand in the oven for 1 hour (so the total time in the oven is 1 hour and 45 minutes but it's only turned on for the first 45 minutes).
Egg whites will not whip properly if any grease is on the beaters or the bowl. or if any egg yolk has contaminated the whites.
Once your meringues have cooled to room temperature, store them in an airtight container.
Yield varies depending on the size of your meringue cookies.
Note: Meringues bake best on a dry day. Avoid baking on a humid day as the meringues can absorb the moisture from the air and become soft and/or sticky.
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Serving Size:2 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 20mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 8gProtein: 1g
154 Comments on “Simple Meringue Cookies”
What is the best way to store these cookies?
Once they cool to room temperature, just store them in an airtight container. Hope you enjoy!
I love the ease of this recipe and how elegant they look!
Do you grease the paper?
No I don’t. The parchment does a great job preventing the cookies from sticking. Hope you enjoy!
I made the and they came out lovely and crunchy on the outside, but sticky and chewy on the inside. I just put them back in the oven to cook them longer hoping that the centers will dry out. Has this happened to anyone else, and we’re you able to fix them?
Is it really humid where you are? Meringues can absorb moisture from the air—and sticky middles will result. Cooking them longer (at a low temp) should help dry them out. And you can always turn the oven off and leave them in the oven overnight (where it’s nice and dry) to ensure they’re crisp. Hope this helps!
these are so pretty! Happy New Year Liz and family!
When would be a good time to add the coloring, if you wanted tho tint the meri gue?
Hi, Tamieka, I would add the food coloring last, after the mixture has been beaten to stiff peaks. Hope you enjoy!
Thanks, making my first attempt today.
These meringues are so easy to make. Turned out perfect. Room temp whites definitely beat up beautiful!! Thank you!! I grew up wth these for 63yrs. These are prettier than my Mom’s!!
I’m so glad you enjoyed these, Diana! Fun that you’re continuing your mom’s tradition!!!
Just a quick tip about meringue. I am a Wilton Cake Decorating Instructor. The second course is all about royal icing flowers. When I first made royal icing I couldn’t get it to keep its form. The flowers lost their shape and turned into blobs. I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t mix confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder and water and have it turn out perfectly when I can bake anything perfectly. At an instructor’s seminar, I asked one of the other instructor’s what I was doing wrong. The answer…..wash everything that will touch the meringue thoroughly and then wash it with white vinegar. Including the beaters, bowl, measuring spoons & cups, spatulas, decorating tips, etc. I do this every time I make royal icing and it has turned out perfectly each time. Remember to rinse the vinegar off everything before using it. Don’t let the vinegar stay on anything metal for more than a few seconds since it is an acid. The vinegar cuts any grease residue. The meringues are in the oven but they piped beautifully. I sprinkled blue, silver and gold sugar crystals on the white ones. I tinted the other half a light green and sprinkled white nonpareils on them. I used a cupcake swirling tip to pipe all the meringues.
What a great tip, Heidi! I knew about keeping utensils, etc, free of grease when whipping egg whites, but never thought about problems with meringue powder, too. I hope your meringues are as beautiful as they sound!!! Thank you!
I want to make some for Christmas day. How far in advance can they be made?
According to Cook’s Illustrated, as long as you cool them completely and store them in an airtight container, they’ll be fine up to 2 weeks: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6574-storing-meringues (https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/6574-storing-meringues)
I have given 4 stars because they are still in the oven. Very easy to make. Beautiful white color. I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on them to meme them a little prettier.
Quick question. Can I use egg whites from the carton? I know this is lazy but I hate wasting the yolks.
From what I’ve read, those egg whites are pasteurized and won’t whip as well as non-pasteurized egg whites. You could certainly try, you’d need to whip them longer and up the cream of tartar, but I’m not sure you’ll be happy with the results. You can add the extra yolks to scrambled eggs or make a small batch of creme brulee. Hope this helps. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!
There is a biscotti recipe that calls for egg yolks. When I make that I always make merengues
It is the Martha Stewart hazelnut biscotti. Under Italian cookied
Perfect! I love biscotti. Thanks, Mary, I’ll check it out!
I am using your recipe as a base recipe for Thanksgiving. The difference is I’m flavoring mine. I’m using -vanilla extract -coffee extract -peppermint extract -cocoa powder and (suggested by another website) strawberry jam. Can you give me any tips on how much flavoring to put in? Thanks.
I think you can get away with up to 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Peppermint is much stronger so I’d go light on that. Add 1/4 teaspoon and if you take a whiff and think you want a stronger flavor, maybe up to 1/2 teaspoon. I’d start with a half teaspoon of coffee extract, but like the vanilla, you could probably go to a full teaspoon. For cocoa, I’d try about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons. Not sure about the jam, but it sounds like a fun idea! I’d look at some other flavored 2 egg meringue recipes and see if these sound reasonable. Good luck!!!
Done it. Mine was kinda gritty because I used not so refined sugar. And I’m lazy to grind the sugar????. But the consistency was great. Im sure I’ll do this again. It’s very easy. Wish I could post the pic. They look lovely
I’m glad the recipe worked for you!!! Enjoy!
These are great! I wanted to make some because my friend did and they were sooooooo good. I added purple food coloring, they taste great! Thanks for the tips, they made it easy for a newbie like me.
My meringues are in the oven as I write this and as I was going over the recipe again I noticed that you didn’t mention when to add the “pinch of salt”. I’m hoping my meringues will be ok without it, but if I make these again, at which part of the recipe do I add the salt? Thanks!
Oops, thanks for catching that, Melanie. You’re meringues will be just fine without the salt. It’s added at the beginning with the cream of tartar. I’ve edited the recipe. Hope you enjoy!!!
Hi Liz, can you color them?
Yes, definitely!! Hope you give them a try!
I just made these yesterday and it was my first time using my stand mixer and they came out perfectly! They were crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and light as a cloud. They tasted just like the ones I usually buy at the store! Thanks for the awesome recipe!!!
Hooray!! I’m so glad the recipe was a success for you, June! Thanks for the feedback.
How many calorues are in theses babies
If you use about a teaspoon of batter, they should be about 20 calories each—but those are pretty small 🙂
These meringues are so simple and beautiful!!
Thanks for your tips for make the perfect meringue! I made once but they aren’t very good. Nex time I will follow your advices. xo